The proposals are presented in order to reduce the costs to residents, businesses and the State associated with the use of cash, to reduce their impact on the environment and to make the circulation cycle of cash more efficient.
“After analyzing and evaluating the experience of other countries, the Bank of Lithuania proposes to apply rounding of the final basket amount only when paying in cash. Rounding would be neutral for both consumers and merchants and would be carried out automatically by cash registers programmed and certified according to the rules established by the legislation.
Rounding of the final basket amount when paying in cash could be introduced from 2025. in May, in coordination with the implementation of the reform of smart cash registers, i.e. when the company will already have adapted to work with smart cash registers. It will not apply to e-commerce, labor relations benefits or state benefits,” said Asta Kuniyoshi, Vice Chairman of the Board of Bank of Lithuania.
Six eurozone countries – Ireland, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Finland – are already rounding the final basket amount.
“When paying in cash, the final amount of the basket is rounded up to the nearest multiple of 5. For example, when you come to a store and buy bread, cottage cheese, milk, paying in cash at the checkout, the total amount of the cart would be rounded so that you don’t have to give the return in 1 and 2 euro cent coins, it would be rounded down or up to 0, 5 or 10 cents, depending on whether the last digit is closer to 0, 5 or 10”, explained the chief specialist of the Policy, Issuance and Control Department of the Treasury Department of the Bank of Lithuania during the debate in the Seimas Edita Lisinskaite.
There are currently so many small coins in circulation that it would take eleven wagons to stack them, and they weigh 770 tons. The 1 and 2 euro cent coins, most of which are only used once for payments, consume resources, emit pollution and waste to mint, transport and handle.
Using these coins costs both the government and the company. The Bank of Lithuania spends more than half a million euros a year on minting them or acquiring them in other countries. Since the introduction of the euro, the total value of the 1 and 2 euro cent coins that we have lost amounts to more than 2.4 million euros. Most of these coins, due to their small size and decreasing purchasing power, very often do not return to circulation.
Once the rounding has started, residents will be able to continue paying with the available 1 and 2 euro cent coins, but these coins will not be returned.
Source: The Delfi